Adding to the wave of new year resolutions and in line with last week’s move by Brummer & Partners who no longer welcomes nuclear weapon manufacturers into its partner funds’ portfolios, AP4 announced the addition of the same offending sector to its black list, starting on January 1st. The state pension fund also decided to ban companies involved in exploiting oil sands. Meanwhile, Danske Bank published a credit analysis report where it examined the ESG risks of Nordic utilities. Nordic nuclear energy, it turns out, is rather safe from an ESG perspective.
Also in the credit space, NordSIP spoke to Robeco Asset Management‘s Jan Willem de Moor, who explained how his team looks at the credit market through the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. In Stockholm, this week, green bonds become more accessible for investors as Lyxor lists its first ETF at Nasdaq. We will be watching the green bond space next week, as SBAB‘s covered bond subsidiary SCBC is meeting investors to present a new green bond which will be secured by green mortgages.
Elsewhere, twelve climate-focused organisations challenged BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, to toughen its stance with portfolio companies to help reach the targets imposed by the Paris Agreement. Activists then engineered a fake letter, which announced that BlackRock would divest from coal companies in its active strategies and increase thresholds for ESG screening in its index strategies (Institutional Investor). The Financial Times among others took the bait before retracting their articles. Also this week, Refinitiv (previously known as Thomson Reuters) announced its intention to become carbon neutral by next year.
NordSIP had a closer look at Amundi‘s new research which shows that ESG can have a positive effect on performance. But whether the outperformance is caused by differential fundamental values between bottom and top ESG performers, or a self-fulfilling prophecy is still to be debated. Finally, Eurosif launched a strategy review (IPE) ahead of ESG regulatory changes, and Flavia Micilotta‘s departure to join the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
Wishing you a nice chilly weekend in the Nordics,
Your NordSIP team